Global Matters

Swedish political debate on television

Mona Sahlin, leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party and Fredrik Reinfeldt, leader of the Moderate Party

As I listened to the radio throughout the day, it was fascinating to hear the results of the Swedish election reported here. Generally speaking, aside from the recent Wikileaks story, the only news reported in Australia that comes out of Sweden tends to revolve around ABBA :)

I’m guessing Australian journalists picked up on the interesting interesting parallels with the recent Australian election. As I noted from the debate last week, the issues remained the same, with education, health, climate change and immigration dominating the debate, though I noticed a fair degree of bipartisanship in Sweden on some of the issues, such as refugees.

Like the Swedes, Australia now has a Red-Green Alliance to match the Conservative Alliance. LIke Australia, Sweden now has a far-right race-based party. Ours was One Nation which has now all but disappeared. I also think it’s fascinating the Moderates are willing to talk to The Greens to assure a government majority. In Australia, the Labor party spoke to so-called “Conservative Indepndents” to assure majority.

In other global matters, I helped a tourist this morning with limited English language skills, which went a little beyond “turn left, turn right”. At the end of our conversation he said, “thanks maaaate” which gave me a smile.

And then tonight, my attention turned to China. Arriving home tonight I started to look in great depth at idea for things to due during my forthcoming visit there, which is now just three weeks away. I pick up my visa on Wednesday.

Speaking of which, my friend Kate was interviewed on 1233 ABC Newcastle today about the current project she is involved in there with Australian artists.

So yes, a day of living local, but thinking global :)

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